Alan “The Apprentice” Philpott has his first assignment as BAMMA Lonsdale Bantamweight Champion, in the form of promotional newcomer Aaron “Smackwell” Blackwell.
Philpott will make the first defence of his belt at #BAMMA26 on 4th June in Dublin, Ireland and whilst “The Apprentice“ can’t wait to get back into the cage, his opponent came as a bit of a shock to him.
“It’s a good fight but I don’t really know why BAMMA have given me him. I know a bit about him, he has been about for so long he is a bit of a dinosaur really. Most of his wins are against nobodies, he is a can crusher.”
Prior to signing with the promotion, Blackwell had given his views on the state of the European Bantamweight rankings and at the time had labelled Philpott as “Mentally Slow.” Something which didn’t really have the desired affect with Philpott.
“He was just trying to make a name for himself and I get that. He has been about since 2003 and nobody even knows him. He was a card filler on Cage Warriors and they never put him on a run for the Title.”
“Regardless of what he says it doesn’t make a difference to me. I know its nothing personal and I will make an example of him on fight night.”
Since joining BAMMA in February 2015, Philpott has been involved in his fair share of “beefs” with fellow Bantamweights, although he has certainly noticed a reduction in callouts since he defeated Nathaniel Wood at BAMMA 24.
“I said before my last fight that they would see improvements and when I do things right no one wants any part of me. I’m serious now and doing things different. Nobody can match me and I feel unbeatable. There are quite a few of them matched up with other fights which could be why also.”
One of Philpott’s hardest challenges has been with the scales, although he now feels that he has that perfected and he certainly proved that at BAMMA 24 coming in on point and 135lbs. An experience which made the whole fight experience so much better for him.
“I am not just thinking about me anymore. I need to make sure I keep things right, I’m still young and if I can’t keep my weight under control nobody is going to want me.”
“For my last fight things just worked out well and my weight was down a long time ahead of the bout. At the weigh-ins I was on good form with all the guys, singing and messing about and it was such a good experience compared to how it has been in the past.”
With his weight under control you could certainly argue that with a compelling win over Blackwell at BAMMA 26, Philpott could argue a case for a shot at the World Title. And Philpott will definitely be rallying for this if he gets his hand raised on 4th June.
“I feel that after this fight with Blackwell that I should get the World Title shot. There is nobody else in the division that deserves it more than me. It would make sense to unify the division with the Lonsdale Champion taking on the World Champion.”
The World Title which Philpott is ultimately aspiring to claim is on the line at BAMMA 25 with Champion Shay Walsh putting the Belt on the line against current Featherweight Champion Tom Duquesnoy. Whilst Philpott is unsure as to what direction the upcoming Title fight will go, he was disappointed that he wasn’t given the opportunity to welcome Duquesnoy to 135lbs.
“If Tom was to fight anyone else he would beat them but Shay is tough. If Shay is able to get him down and smother him for three round I see Shay winning but if not I think Tom will get a decision win.”
“If I was to fight Tom I would beat him. I would have loved to welcome him to the division because I honestly think I’m worst fight for him and his style.”
Alan would like to thank his sponsors “The gentry barber’s, Crosskey Meats, Peak Physique, Style n sport, Next generation weight lifting club , Crossfit varangian, Martin engineering supplies, Snc gym equipment, Pride or die, Muay Thai equipment and accessories, Performance massage NI, Pro gum, Lisburn cryrospa, Mindsport consultant, Slm design & Gardeners fuels ahoghill.”
He would also “like to give a shout out to Ben Crighton for helping me have to perfect cut and for all the knowledge he shares.”
Something which is very close to Alan’s heart is also “Turning Point NI who do amazing work in Ballymena and Antrim. Suicide and mental health is a big problem in our society and its the people in these organisations who are making the difference. I hope everyone give them their support as it is a volunteer group. For info contact Trudi Hall.”